Last year’s finalists Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen meet at the second round stage of Germany’s top cup competition with Bayern coach Luis van Gaal believing a win can spur his team on to the treble.
Online bookmakers are offering free bets to new customers signing up ahead of the televised second round DFB Pokal tie between Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen at the Allianz-Arena kicking off at 7.45pm on Tuesday.
Bayern won 4-0 in last year’s final when claiming a domestic double having won the Bundesliga and where to narrowly miss out on the coveted treble when losing to Inter is the Champions League final.
Despite a stuttering start this season that finds the Bundesliga champions languishing in the bottom half of the table, van Gaal believes his team can go one better and clinch the treble this time around.
“We must no lose” exclaimed the master tactician.
If we get through this period and remain in all three competitions – the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal, we can still win everything. We have been doing well.”
Bookmakers have recognised the signs of Bayerns recovery and make them favourite to beat Tuesday’s opponents with Unibet offering the most generous odds at 9/10.
Van Gaal cannot name a full strength team but is expected to select the side that drew in Hamburg at the weekend meaning Martin Demichelis is still out of favour.
His injury list includes captain Mark van Bommel, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Miroslav Klose.
Bremen won’t capitulate as easily as they did in the final and would relish inflicting their revenge on the weakened Bayern lineup but their own form this season has been a little inconsistent.
Thomas Schaaf brings his side into the cup game on the back of a 4-1 away win against relegation candidates Borussia Munchengladbach which took them to eighth in the Bundesliga table, two points ahead of Bayern.
Schaaf will be without Tim Weisse and Tim Borowski but otherwise he can field a strong lineup which is expected to feature ex-Bayer striker Claudio Pizarro.
Although the two clubs played out a goalless draw in Munich in last month’s league fixture, meeting between the pair often produce high scoring results.
January’s clash produced a 5-goal thriller that Bayern edged by the odd goal and win or lose, Pizarro would love to find the net against his old club and Sportingbet are offering odds of 12/5 he will score during normal time.
Possible starting lineups:
BAYERN MUNICH: Butt, Lahm, Tymoschuk, Badstuber, Pranjic, Schweinsteiger, Ottl, Altintop, Mueller, Kroos, Gomez.
WERDER BREMEN: Mielitz, Fritz, Mertesacker, Proedl, Pasanen, Frings, Bargfrede, Wesley, Marin, Arnautovic, Pizarro.